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Roche’s RTCA HT Instrument Adapts Real-Time Cell Analysis to a High-Throughput Format

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The new xCELLigence RTCA HT Instrument from Roche rounds out the Diagnostics Applied Science’s portfolio in real-time cell analysis with a high-throughput product. The new instrument merges the power and flexibility of xCELLigence System technology with high-throughput analyses and workflows for automated screening applications.

The system enables researchers to run 1 to 4 384 well E-Plates independently on up to four RTCA HT Stations, thus reading 4 x384 well plates in parallel. The RTCA HT Instrument´s design allows for integration with automated plate and liquid handling systems.

The first RTCA HT Instrument was installed in February at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in the laboratory of Prof. Matt Cooper, Institute of Molecular Bioscience. The system will mainly be used for GPCR and cytotoxicity assays.

The Cooper Working Group has a strong focus on the discovery and exploitation of novel biophysical methods for characterizing molecular pathways involved in disease, and for research studies on rapid in vitro and ex vivo diagnosis of disease, with an emphasis on viral and bacterial infections.

They have a major effort on rational design and development of novel antibiotics active against drug-resistant pathogens. Furthermore they are developing cell-specific 'tags' to deliver drugs to the right target, focusing initially on antibiotics and then extending the approach to anti-cancer drugs.

Prof. Cooper is a pioneer of label-free technologies with two books on the subject: “Label-Free Technologies for Drug Discovery (Wiley-Blackwell) and “Label-free Biosensors: Techniques and Applications” (Cambridge University Press).

Prof. Cooper commented, “We see the advent of 384-well screening systems based technologies such as electrical impedance as highly significant for GPCR screening and ligand-directed signaling. At least 800 distinctive human G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are known, with ~350 being estimated to be useful drug targets. Although only ~7% of GPCRs are currently targeted by drugs, this accounts for ~35% of blockbuster pharmaceuticals. Here label-free can really challenge current screening paradigms, as the readout is non-invasive, temporal, cumulative and most importantly, signaling-pathway independent.”

The xCELLigence System utilizes impedance as a readout enabling label-free, non-invasive and kinetic readout of cellular status in response to a multitude of different treatments and therefore can be used in many different cell biological contexts.  The system provides highly incisive and information-rich data not available with other platforms.